Elder Nephi Pratt

My brethren and sisters, I appreciate the privilege of being at home among the Saints of God, and listening to the inspired teachings of the Presidency and other Elders of the Church. The speakers are here this afternoon by appointment of the prophet of the Lord. We are few in number, but the Lord has said that He will be even with three or four, when they come together in His name. I hope that you will pray that I may be inspired by the Spirit, that we may be blessed together, and the hearts of those who are assembled here be comforted, their faith increased, and they be instructed.

I praise the Lord for the inspiration in the remarks of my brethren who have spoken in this conference. I love the sound of their voices. I am laboring away off, 800 miles from here, in a missionary field, and I rarely have, except upon special occasions, as great an audience as is here assembled; and you may imagine the great pleasure and happiness it gives me to mingle with the Saints in Zion. God has blessed this country. This is the land to which the Lord inspired His servants to gather the hosts who have from time to time met in our great conferences. The site for the temple of the Lord and the place for its chief cornerstone, was pointed out by revelation. I have been with this Church, in Salt Lake Valley, except when I have been traveling on missions, from the time I was a year and a half old. I have seen the growth of this people, and the greatness of their character. When we first worshiped the Lord on this block, under the old Bowery, the theme of the prophets and saints in that day was that God had sanctified and blessed this land, reserved it on purpose, and kept it for this people. The prophetic vision of our leaders then looked forward to the time when great buildings would grace the Temple block. When log houses were builded by the pioneers around Pioneer Square, which was at that time called the Old Fort, I was a small child, but I know the spirit that possessed the people. I want to tell the Saints who are gathered here that when our pioneers looked upon that ten-acre block, enclosing log houses shingled with straw and mud, they beheld, with prophetic eye, those cabins merge into palaces of beauty. And when they worshiped God under the crude shelter which they had builded, they thought of the Temple of the Lord, and the Tabernacles that would sometime be builded on this block. They felt that the poverty of those years would some day change into riches. You are my witnesses, who walk the streets of our beautiful city, that the Lord did not inspire our fathers with any false hopes, but has fulfilled to the letter all predictions that were made through His servants, and many times made them greater than they were spoken.

It is a great and magnificent day in which we live; and among us everywhere, are evidences of the greatness that the Gospel brings to those who live it. So far as any thing that I have ever read in history says, there never was as great a body of Priesthood on the face of the earth, living the Gospel laws to as great an extent, as there is today gathered here on the tops of the mountains, exalted, as Isaiah said, above the hills. The people of many nations have flown unto us. The desert has blossomed as the rose. Harmony, joy, gladness, and thanksgiving are here, as Isaiah predicted, and the voice of melody, which is evidenced by the great Eisteddfod that has recently been held here, and by the great choirs that sing in our places of worship,–and the Elders see eye go eye, all of which the Lord promised should be, when the Lord should bring again Zion.

I want to stand among this people, a humble member of the Church of Christ, sanctified and blessed by a good course of conduct. My destiny is in my own hands. If I ascend into the paradise of God when my spirit departs from this tabernacle, and in peace and happiness reside with the Pioneers who laid the foundation of this splendid commonwealth, it will be because I have received of the same Spirit, humbled myself before God, purified myself by repenting of that that I have done wrong. It will be because I have worked and studied to make myself yield to the will of God, because my house has been a house of prayer and thanksgiving, because my means and ability have been spent in the service of God, because I chose good instead of evil, because I curbed impure appetites, and subjugated myself to the good. Then I shall see Joseph Smith, who, under God’s direction, laid the foundation of this work, when my spirit shall pass into the other world. I personally knew President Brigham Young, and I associated with his children. President Young has held me on his knee when I was a child; and he spoke consolingly to my mother in her widowhood, and sympathetically consoled the sorrow of our family when father was assassinated. When I pass from this world, I expect to meet President Young, and be associated with other worthies who sustained the banner of truth and righteousness in the midst of a hostile world.

If I go where darkness, and weeping, and wailing prevail, I shall never be able to accuse God our Father, or say to him, Father, why have you placed me in such sorrowful conditions, in outer darkness where there is weeping, and wailing and gnashing of teeth? Why Father, have you given me evil companionship, and made my soul to dwell with those that are ungodly? Why, the Lord might say, my son, you only earned a place where there is outer darkness, and weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, and we have given you what you earned. You had your destiny in your own hands. Your brother that is across the chasm over which you cannot pass, who is in the association of prophets, priests and kings and with Jesus, blessed with eternal riches and eternal life, is the recipient of what he has earned. You each had your agency. I gave you my precepts, laws, and commandments, and you exercised that agency. I shall not be able to blame my Heavenly Father if I stand condemned.

My brothers and sisters, read the laws of the Gospel and lay them to heart. The prophet of the Lord God has spoken by revelation, and declared that hailstorms will destroy the crops. Do you think the saints shall escape famine when that comes? And there will be the grim reaper, death, coming to all the nations, in various forms that have been foretold. It has been written that awful new diseases shall come, over which the physicians will have no power; that flies shall come upon the wicked and eat their flesh, and that maggots shall come upon them, and devour them But the revelation that was quoted in our hearing this morning holds out hope to us. When these awful conditions which are coming shall predominate, and the judgments of God be poured out without stint, in that day the man who has kept the Word of Wisdom can say to the Lord, Father, you did promise that if I kept this word, the destroyer should pass me by, and the Lord will hear. Now let us heed these things, individually. I can preach them, but can I practice them? It is easy to talk; it is harder to act. We should take upon us the whole yoke of our Redeemer, the whole armor of righteousness, and thus become free and sinless; when we do that, our yoke will be easy, and our burdens light. Sin binds us and makes us fearful. A condition of apostasy will keep us from being heard by the Lord when we pray. Faith is lacking in our families, if the first thought is to call for physicians when we are afflicted instead of appealing to the Lord.

Now, my brethren and sisters, I desire to live these principles, and to live a life that shall please God. Before I pass away from the earth, I want to make amends for all my transgressions. I want to pay all the debts I owe to man and to our Heavenly Father. I want to go free into the spirit world, and I hope the Lord, when I have done my best, will open the way before me that I may not go into the spirit world among the ungodly, looking forward with fear to that which shall come in the judgment of God. I hope the Lord will approve my sacrifices and say, it is enough, let him go into the paradise of God with the saints. If I only can live worthy to obtain these things, I will risk the rest.

Brethren and sisters, may God bless you in His mercy, comfort you in your homes in the future have His hand ever extended to bless the Saints, save our children, and keep us for ever and ever in His holy keeping, and save and exalt us in His kingdom, I ask it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

[Conference Report, Oct. 1908]


Elder Thomas B. Evans

Brethren and sisters: I have very much enjoyed the spirit of this meeting, as also the spirit of this morning’s session of our Conference. When Brother Nephi Pratt stood before you, bearing his testimony of his knowledge of the divinity of the work in which we are engaged, it took my mind back to the time when I was about twelve or thirteen years of age. Brother Pratt at that time was filling a mission in Wales. He was a man that devoted his time and his talents to the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the people of my country. He was an instrument in the hands of the Lord of bringing many to a knowledge of the truth. The people of that principality loved Brother Pratt because of his faithfulness, because of his devotion to the cause of God.

[Conference Report, Oct. 1908]

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